Ricoh Workstyle is no longer active. You can keep up to date with the latest thinking from Ricoh UK on our new blog, Ricoh Insights.

The traditional bank branch has undergone a massive transformation over the past few years.

Gone are the long queues of customers waiting patiently to conduct routine transactions such as paying bills, withdrawing cash and transferring money.

Increasing automation and self-service banking within the branch, as well as the development of sophisticated telephone and online banking services have done much to reduce the effort and time needed by customers to carry out their basic day-to-day tasks.

For retail banks, these changes have also brought significant benefits by reducing the time and effort spent by staff on many routine administrative tasks.

Like all fast-evolving workplaces, today’s bank branch is becoming a place where many customers go for expert advice, or to conduct complex transactions.

But the transformation is not as yet complete. Indeed, I believe we have just scratched the surface of the digitally-enabled services that banks can and should offer their customers.

In my view, we are at the start of an exciting journey that will ultimately lead to the evolution of the bank branch into a truly digitised environment.

banking picThe bank branch will become a venue for a data-rich, highly personalised customer engagement. Customers will be able to access the bank’s expertise, either face-to-face, or they can use a high-quality video link to immediately connect with remotely-located staff who may be able to help them on the spot.

In addition, staff will have a data-rich view of each customer visiting the branch, enabling them to provide a genuinely personalised experience that caters for the customer’s current financial requirements and also helps them to identify, prioritise and plan ahead for future needs.

However, digitising activities at the bank branch is only part of the equation. In order to create a genuinely customer-responsive bank with enhanced levels of employee productivity, banks need to give their staff the right information, in the right customer context and in the right format and at the right time.

Put simply, it’s about putting together the right technologies, processes and appropriately trained people in every branch to free highly-skilled staff from routine, administrative tasks to allow them to focus on customers.

Digitising information and processes that have been traditionally analogue is a fundamental part of optimising the value and relevance of the local bank branch.

For example, enabling crucial customer activities such as completing and signing a mortgage form, which continues for most to be a paper-based process, to be carried out electronically by using secure technologies such as e-signatures, can help to significantly streamline the mortgage completion process.

Everything that I have described is achievable today. The technology, products, services and the expertise needed to deliver these digital services are available. Indeed, many banks and financial services organisations are already beginning to use them.

Ricoh is working with various banks and financial services organisations in the UK and across the rest of Europe to help them to achieve their goals of providing their customers with a world-class service.


Ricoh Workstyle is no longer active. You can keep up to date with the latest thinking from Ricoh UK on our new blog, Ricoh Insights.